Thursday, May 26, 2011

Ain't no sunlight from Guido on Chris Huhne's expenses

I wouldn't normally sully your day with a link to the noxious Guido Fawkes blog. After all, this is the guy who cast aspersions and innuendo over William Hague until he was forced to make an unprecedented personal statement last year, which I wrote about at the time. There was no need to cause the Hagues additional pain.

You would think he would have learned from that fiasco not to print anything unless he had evidence as to its veracity. No such luck. He just bulldozes his way in there, accusing people of all sorts, making it all sound as sensationalist as possible, not caring for the worry he causes, or the lives he might affect.

He's now got it in for Chris Huhne. Like the rest of the press, but he's stirring around his election expenses.  And he's been bragging that he's spent a year researching it. Well, I know that some people can take more time than others to master things, and election expenses are quite complex, but it looks like he hasn't actually learned anything much at all. He outlines the allegations made by an organisation caused by the Sunlight Centre for Open Politics. Wow. What a cool name. Sounds like a right bunch of peace loving hippies, they do. However, our Stephen, way back in 2009, did a bit of digging about who they might be and worked out that they were in fact run by one Harry Cole and Paul Staines. Yes, that's right. Guido himself and his sidekick, once known as Tory Bear.

Thankfully, we have somebody in the Liberal Democrats who does understand election expenses. There can't be many people in the country who have a more comprehensive knowledge of the subject than Mark Pack. He is one stickler for detail if ever there was one. And he says that there are perfectly reasonable explanations for everything. So, who are you going to believe, a known stirrer, or an expert?

Guido's fundamental error is not to understand that money a local party spends is on all the elections it's fighting - and if a leaflet has some stuff about council elections and some stuff about parliamentary elections, then the costs of production have to be split between the two campaigns, for example. Also, not every piece of literature that goes out is counted on a local election campaign's expenses - some are produced nationally.

Guido says that there's not been enough calculated for staff time on the Westminster election. Well, staff will still be working on actual Westminster casework which they are allowed to do, or they may have been working for the local or national election campaigns. If he's alleging that not enough time was counted for staff on Chris' campaign, he needs to come up with a bit more evidence. Well, actually, he needs to come up with any evidence.

He also mentions a website and says costs should have been included for that. Well, that site was not just for the election - it's still going strong, so it would be unfair to attribute the costs solely to the election - and it's entirely acceptable to spread them out over a longer period.

Guido's credibility has been on the wane for a while. He was once the Enfant Terrible of the Blogosphere. With stories as flimsy as this, he's kind of just left with the terrible.


GHmltn said...

leaving aside aside whether he is sometimes right or not.

What a sanctimonious, grubby scandal racker Guido is!

Anonymous said...

Well, the thing is he has handed control over to the tubby tory bear whose tone-of-voice is radically different, and who possesses about 20% of the brainpower of the originator of the blog.

Fortuitously this means the blog is on the wane.


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